Strong upticks in training, marketing highlight Dell EMC channel performance

The Dell EMC channels team was extremely happy with the results of the first quarter of its new unified partner program.

Dell EMC has completed its first quarter under its new unified partner program, and the company is heralding the results as an unqualified success.

“We are delighted with the positive results and momentum,” said Cheryl Cook, Senior Vice President, Channel Marketing, Dell EMC. “We saw our 17th consecutive quarter of growth in client share gains, and robust server growth. We also had a really good quarter in the storage business, even through the storage sector generally has been under pressure. The channel performance in these delivered high double digit growth, outpacing the market. Both partner sales teams and our own have really stayed focused on results, and we are continuing to invest, hire and adding new capabilities to support our channel.”

During the quarter, Dell EMC fully implemented infrastructure incumbencies for partners, its response to address partner concerns from the removal of the old EMC hard deck. The initial protections for partners who had already been working in accounts in the storage space over the preceding six months were joined on May 22 by similar protections for servers and for networking.

“All the infrastructure now has client incumbency in place, assuring partners it will be a channel-led sales motion,” Cook said.

In the past, Dell EMC, and Dell before that, would typically implement major programmatic changes at the beginning of the new fiscal year in February, and then make tweaks as the year went along. That changed with the implementation of the new unified partner program. In response to partner requests, the programmatic elements will remain consistent during the year. Cook emphasized that partner numbers in these categories were strong.

“With respect to new business and cross-selling, the channel brought in over 6000 new customers in Q1 who were eligible for our New Business incent,” she said. “The channel also did well in the services business, which is another stackable incent. We also saw double-digit growth in rebate payout and MDF payout, and deal registration growth also increased by double digits.”

At Dell EMC World in May, the full inclusion of the legacy EMC Virtustream business into the Dell EMC partner program was announced, with partners now having full programmatic access to the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, as they previously had to their Storage Cloud.

“We have had some nice early wins – multiple double digit million dollar wins – through Virtustream, and all that revenue is now eligible for program benefits,” Cook said. “Virtustream is a strong opportunity for partners with good consultative and services-led practices around data centre modernization. We are very optimistic about where this will fit in the overall portfolio.”

Cook noted that partner training was up significantly – not a surprise given that the new program grandfathered partners at the highest level they were at in the two old legacy programs, giving them a year to certify to meet the full requirements for the unified program.

“Our status match policy giving them a year to achieve their certifications has led to a growth in our overall training for the quarter,” Cook said. “The higher adoption rate on training is driving cross-sell opportunities, and leading to more meaningful discussions with customers there. These initial indications are quite strong. We expect that will continue as we bring new flash products to market, and launch new servers at the end of summer, both of which will need new training.”

Cook also noted a strong response to Dell EMC’s recent channel marketing initiatives. Their marketing platform provides content syndication for partners, and is organized on a modular basis, so it can be used as a complete turnkey operation, or with just specific modular components added to the partner’s own campaigns. The new Marketing Institute is a curriculum and training module that is compulsory for tier eligibility, requiring one person to take three courses to be accredited.

“We have been delighted at the response to these, with just under 2000 partners so far making use of the marketing platform,” Cook said. “It provides them with meaningful resources, and teaches them how to leverage our social and digital methodologies.”